Special Counsel John Durham’s report on the origins of the FBI’s investigation into former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign leaves little room but to conclude that the investigative process was deeply politicized, according to legal analyst Jeffrey Clark.
Durham published a 316-page report on Monday that concluded FBI officials pursued an investigation into the Trump campaign—dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane”—without much analytical rigor and often with minimal concern for factual accuracy. The report also described how some of the FBI officials involved in the investigation, such as Deputy Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Peter Strzok, had “pronounced hostile feelings toward Trump.”
The Durham report (pdf) also described how former President Barack Obama and key high-ranking Justice Department and intelligence community officials were aware that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was pursuing a plan “to vilify Trump” by tying him to the Russian government. Specifically, Obama was present at an Aug. 3, 2016, White House briefing with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Director Jim Comey, and former CIA Director John Brennan. According to declassified notes Brennan took at the meeting, he briefed those in attendance about the Clinton campaign plan to smear Trump.
It’s “a massive politicization of the process,” Clark told NTD’s “Capitol Report” host Steve Lance.
Dr. Steven Allen, the vice chairman of the Conservative Caucus, described the Durham report’s findings in even starker terms.
“The FBI had tried a coup that ultimately really was successful because Trump would have been reelected if this had not happened,” Allen told NTD News.
Allen noted communications between Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, in which the pair described stopping Trump from becoming president and having an “insurance policy” in the “unlikely” event that Trump did win the election.
Allegations of collusion between Trump and the Russian government had served as a premise for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate the Trump administration. That special counsel investigation continued through the first two years of Trump’s four-year presidential term. Allen also noted that the claim that Trump had colluded with the Russian government was an idea that eventually gained viral acceptance, becoming the subject of regular news coverage, popular memes, and jokes by late-night TV hosts.
FBI Says It Already Corrected ‘Missteps’
The FBI has acknowledged it made “missteps” in its handling of the Trump campaign investigation but said it has already taken corrective actions.
“The conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time,” the agency said in a statement just hours after the Durham report was released. “Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented.”
Clark said he was not convinced by the FBI’s latest reassurances.
“That statement to me, Steve, sounds like a kind of passive voice ‘mistakes were made, corrective action will follow.’ It’s all very vague, and I don’t think it’s going to result in any significant changes,” Clark said. “I think the only way we’re going to get significant changes at the FBI, and at the main justice, U.S. attorney and Criminal Division, et cetera related processes is if Congress passes new laws, or if there is a new presidential sheriff in town.”
Allen also pointed to the career success of officials involved in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation as another sign that the FBI’s reforms won’t seriously deter these kinds of problems in the future.
“Right now, as far as I know, two of the FBI agents involved in this conspiracy, are consultants appearing on air at CNN and at MSNBC,” Allen said. “Have they lost their jobs? Has anyone lost a security clearance, which is important to having a job in Washington if you’re in this intelligence area. Have they lost their security clearances for lying? No.”
Allen noted Durham’s Special Counsel team had successfully prosecuted, former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, for falsifying information to extend a surveillance warrant against Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. Clinesmith avoided jail time for the offense and instead received 12 months of probation. Clinesmith was also temporarily disbarred.
NTD News reached out to the FBI for further comment but the agency did not respond by the time this article was published.